Volume 6, No. 2 - February 2017

In The Know

- Keeping you informed is what it's all about

Change of address and notification to appointing insurers when changing agencies

Licensees who change agency employers should not only change their address information, but should also notify any insurers or others they are appointed by. We also recommend licensees change their MyProfile password when changing employers, especially if the former agency-employer had access to the account.

Five Attempt Limit on License Exams

Section 626.281(2), F.S. defines the limit on the number of licensing exam attempts an individual is allowed during a given period of time. The limit is five attempts for the same exam type during a twelve month period. This law creates a rolling time window looking back from the current date for exactly one year. All exams for a particular license attempted during that window count towards the five exam limit. Individuals who have reached the five exam limit are not permitted to sit for their next exam attempt until the one year time window only contains four exams.

Individuals in this situation should count back their five most recent exam attempts to determine the oldest of the five. Taking the date of the oldest of the five and adding one year to that date will determine the next date the individual will again be eligible to sit for the exam.

A specific example of the application of this law would be an individual taking a general lines (2-20) exam for the very first time on June 1, 2016, and failing the exam. After this first attempt, the individual sat for the exam four more times between June 2, 2016 and December 30, 2016. This individual will not be eligible to sit for the exam again until June 1, 2017.

Note: After three unsuccessful attempts, Bail Bond (limited surety) license exam candidates must repeat a 120-hour pre-licensing course and obtain a grade of 80 percent or higher before being eligible to attempt the exam again.

Title Insurance Agencies as Escrow Agents

The Florida Statutes do not prohibit the acceptance of escrow funds outside a title insurance transaction and s.877.101, F.S. specifically identifies licensed title insurance agencies as an entity that may accept escrow funds.

PLEASE NOTE: Accepting escrow funds for a transaction outside one that results in the issuance of a title insurance policy may not be covered under your agency's surety and fidelity bonds. You should also check your agency's errors and omission coverage.

Reporting of Actions - Criminal, Administrative, Securities and Other

Subsection 626.451(7), F.S., requires each licensee to advise the Department within 30 days after having been found guilty of or having pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to a felony or a crime punishable by imprisonment of one year or more under the laws of the United States, any state of the United States, or any other country, without regard to whether a judgment of conviction has been entered by the court having jurisdiction of such cases.

Section 626.536, F.S., requires each licensee (including insurance agencies) to submit to the Department a copy of the order, consent order, or other relevant legal documents within 30 days after the final disposition of any administrative action taken against the licensee by a governmental agency or other regulatory agency in this or any other state or jurisdiction relating to the business of insurance, the sale of securities*, or activity involving fraud, dishonesty, trustworthiness, or breach of a fiduciary duty.

Subsection 626.6215(6), F.S., requires agencies and their officers to advise the Department within 30 days after an individual licensee's violation is known or should have been known by one or more of the partners, officers, or managers acting on behalf of the agency. An example would be an action taken against a license or registration for violations of state or federal securities or commodities law, such as an action taken by FINRA. Failure to do so could result in administrative action against the license(s) of the agency and/or majority owner, officer, partner, manager, director, or other person who manages or controls the insurance agency.

Actions may be reported via the NIPR's Attachment Warehouse, which may also satisfy reporting requirements for other states you are licensed in.

*Securities regulatory agencies include but are not limited to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and state securities regulators such as the Florida Office of Financial Regulation.

The Florida Statutes Now Available Online

The most current Florida Statutes can now be viewed at Online Sunshine - Title XXXVII Insurance.